How to Hardscape is dedicated to bringing you the most valuable content to help you start and grow your hardscaping business. This includes content on business, marketing, finances, tools, installation, and everything you might possibly want in order to succeed in this industry. We are continuing to grow our resources and you can find them by hovering over the “Articles” tab at the top of our website.
There are also some excellent external resources that we suggest you pursue as well that we have listed below!
First and foremost, if you are not following along with the How to Hardscape Podcast then that is the very first thing that you need to be doing! Subscribe on your favorite podcast app, or if you have never heard of podcasts, visit one of these links below and download the app that best suits you to listen in. Every week we release new episodes interviewing industry leaders and professionals to provide insight into the industry and help you start and grow your hardscaping business. We cover everything to do with hardscaping and the world of being a contractor, so it is a must listen podcast for anybody in the industry.
On today’s episode we mashup previous #IAmaHardscaper interviews with hardscape business owners answering our closing question on each interview: What is one thing you know now that you wish you knew from the beginning.
I want to take a break from today’s episode to thank our sponsor Alliance Gator. They are the makers behind Gator Nitro Joint Sand, a permeable jointing compound for hardscape installations. It consists of calibrated sand and resins that is installed wet and air-cures becoming a solidified paver joint. It can be installed when it is dry or wet out, making it the perfect product to install early or late into the season. No more worrying about the chance of rain and you can finalize that project moving onto the next one faster. We find it is perfect for open graded bases, raised patios, and pool patios, along with many other applications as long as proper drainage is considered. You can find out more about this product at alliancegator.com found in the show notes of this episode. Connect with your local rep for installation assistance.
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We have a tremendous amount of resources available through our website when it comes to hardscape construction. Just visit our hardscaping category on our website to learn more about a variety of installation methods, techniques, and services that you can offer your clients.
You can also check out The Hardscape Academy for a paid course on how to install pavers and retaining walls that are well worth the investment. They are full of excellent information beyond just the actual technical installation techniques and is definitely worth checking out as somebody wanting to learn more about hardscaping or to implement it in your business as an on-boarding video for new hires.
First and foremost, you NEED to read Profit First for Contractors by Shawn Van Dyke. This book will help you understand your numbers further, what they mean to your business, and why you should be taking profit first as a business owner. Many times we start a business because we have a set of skills we can offer, but ultimately that does not mean that makes us a great business owner. This book will help you start on the right foot by understanding the importance of a budget, incorporating overhead expenses and other hidden expenses that comes with business ownership into every quote, and what it means to be taking a profit first. This is a MUST read for you and your business.
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This resource, along with everything we have learned as business owners, has helped us create two spreadsheets that will help you know your numbers better and implement a system in your business to quote and keep track of what your numbers in your business are telling you.
The Budget and Estimate Spreadsheet allows you to create a budget for your business and quote every project from that budget so that you are certain to incorporate all overhead expenses, labor costs, materials, and profit using production rates that you have acquired in the field. It also allows you to job cost, comparing the actual numbers of a project to the quoted or estimated numbers to see where you went right and where you went wrong with your quote.
In addition to this spreadsheet, we also have a Bookkeeping Spreadsheet that allows you to track revenue, expenses, taxes, and to analyze your profit and loss statement on a regular basis to understand the financial health of your business.
Beyond these resources, we have several free courses in the “Courses” tab of our website that will help you understand your business further and to make sure that you are on the right path to starting and building a successful hardscape business.